In Pictures: Animal antics lift spirits during difficult year

PA Reporter
·3-min read

The UK in 2020 has been a very different place for us all but life in the animal kingdom went on as usual, whether in the wild or in captivity.

And pictures of what our furry and feathered friends have been up to helped to lift many spirits during the difficult times. Here are some highlights from the year:

January

Sea Otters to come to Birmingham
New year, new home… Alaskan sea otter Ozzy, who was brought to the UK from a centre in Alaska, settles in at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham (Jacob King/PA)
British bulldog rides skateboard
Kiko, a two-year-old British bulldog, shows off the skateboarding skills he learned from his owner, Ebel Perez, from Shiremoor, North Tyneside (Owen Humphreys/PA)

February

Blair Drummond lion cubs
We all need check-ups… A young lion cub undergoes a vet inspection at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling (Andrew Milligan/PA)
New polar bear at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Rasputin the polar bear shakes off water as he makes his public debut at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster (Danny Lawson/PA)

March

Baby elephant at Chester zoo
Chester Zoo shows off baby Asian elephant Riva Hi Way (Peter Byrne/PA)

April

Britain’s oldest penguin
Celebrations take place behind closed doors to mark the 30th birthday of Rosie, one of the Humboldt penguins at Sewerby Hall in Bridlington (Danny Lawson/PA)
Coronavirus – Thu Apr 30, 2020
Rainbows became the symbol of public support for the NHS during lockdown – and a sheep near Dunblane wasn’t going to be left out (Andrew Milligan/PA)

May

Nesting woodpecker
A great spotted woodpecker, one of a mating pair, flies off to forage for food for its chick inside a tree trunk in woods near Bristol (Ben Birchall/PA)
Blair Drummond Safari Park 50th anniversary
Barbary macaques join the celebrations as Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling marks its 50th anniversary (Andrew Milligan/PA)

June

Coronavirus – Mon Jun 29, 2020
Two giraffes poke their heads out from their enclosure as Blair Drummond Safari Park welcomes visitors back with Scotland beginning to ease out of lockdown (Andrew Milligan/PA)

July

Cheetah cubs at Colchester Zoo
Two of four cheetah cubs born to mother Sia at Colchester Zoo. The females were named Nova, Hope and Star to honour the work of the NHS, and the male was named Tom, after fundraising veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

August

ZSL London Zoo annual weigh-in
Meerkats ‘help’ with the annual weigh-in at ZSL London Zoo (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Ultra rare Albino Hedgehog rescued
An extremely rare albino hedgehog taken in by Prickly Pigs Hedgehog Rescue in Otley, West Yorkshire, is named Jack Frost by staff (Danny Lawson/PA)

September

Baby gorilla born at Bristol Zoo
A baby gorilla born at Bristol Zoo Gardens is given the name Hasani – which means ‘handsome’ in Swahili – following a public vote (Katie Horrocks/PA)

October

Grey seal pupping season
A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, one the UK’s most important sites for the mammals (Joe Giddens/PA)
Halloween 2020
Inquisitive red ruffed lemurs at Blair Drummond are given pumpkin treats to mark World Lemur Day, the day before Halloween. In Latin, the word lemur means ‘ghosts’ (Andrew Milligan/PA)

November

Starling Murmuration
A murmuration of starlings at dusk over Catterick, North Yorkshire, draws crowds of onlookers (Owen Humphreys/PA)
PDSA Dickin Medal for valour
Kuno, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois based at Woolwich Barracks in London, shows off his PDSA Dickin Medal, which he received after being wounded while saving the lives of British forces fighting al Qaida in Afghanistan(Yui Mok/PA)

December

Christmas at the Wildwood Trust
A Eurasian lynx investigates an early Christmas present as part of an enrichment programme at wildlife conservation charity Wildwood Trust in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)